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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Entitlement to national minimum wage: apprentices aged under 19

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

* National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, regulation 5

 

General

For pay reference periods starting on or after 1 October 2010 apprentices (NMWM05230) aged under 19 qualify for the national minimum wage apprentice rate (NMWM03065).

For example:

Worker A, aged 17, starts an apprenticeship with an employer. As the apprentice is aged under 19 he is entitled to the national minimum wage apprentice rate. However, when the worker reaches age 19 the employer has to consider whether a different rate applies depending on whether the apprentice has been on the apprenticeship contract for more than 12 months (NMWM05280) or not (NMWM05270).

Worker B, starts an apprenticeship aged 18½. Whilst under age 19 he is entitled to the national minimum wage apprentice rate. However, when the worker reaches age 19 the employer has to consider whether a different rate applies depending on whether the apprentice has been on the apprenticeship contract for more than 12 months (NMWM05280) or not (NMWM05270).

Prior to 1 October 2010 apprentices aged under 19 did not qualify for the national minimum wage.

For example:

Worker C, aged 16, started an apprenticeship with an employer in 2009. As the apprentice was aged under 19 he was not entitled to the national minimum wage. However, the employer must pay him the national minimum wage apprentice rate from the pay reference periods starting on or after the 1 October 2010.